Like many parents-to-be Isaias and I pored over baby names—wondering what our firstborn child should be called, what her verbal identity would be. We browsed through countless lists, focusing on those of Ancient Hebrew origin since it’s one of the original languages of God’s Word, the Bible.
Amariah popped up, and had a beautiful ring to our ears as we read it aloud, its meaning given on many websites as “promised by God.” Though technically mentioned in the Old Testament to identify men, in our modern culture it is deemed to have a more feminine sound. Either way, we tucked that precious title away, deciding its use once her gender reveal turned out pink.
We later learned that Amariah most literally translated means “God has said.” How simple, I thought. I then wondered why other sources had connected the name to the idea of promise. After googling a little more and with further reflection, I realized that a marvelous characteristic of God was on display in those three simple words, “God has said.” God’s integrity. Because what God has said will always come to pass. How not simple after all!
When God speaks, it is like no one else. What God speaks is true. What words God utters have absolute and undeniable power. When God speaks hope arises from obscurity into complete reality.
Consider this. How was the world made? By the Word of God.
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3
How was the world to be restored and saved after Adam and Eve’s sin? By God’s spoken plan of redemption. He made covenants—verbal promises—with the fallen couple, with Abraham, as well as over and over again throughout the Old Testament with the forefather’s descendants, the Israelites.
Since the beginning God has not been silent. Every single one of His promises has been fulfilled; His words never fail. Each one of His proclamations have been and will be carried out by His actions. There are endless aspects of God’s speech that can be praised.
It is eternal. When our speeches have long been forgotten, when this earth has faded away, His truth will reign beyond time.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
It is living. This is why reading the Bible is so often encouraged. The Scriptures are not merely another written story, they are to be studied as the Creator’s pure words. Words so graciously recorded by Him for the transformation of our souls.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
It is flawless. Unlike the empty promises or lies we so easily share, God’s Word is to be trusted and a source of strength.
This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. Psalm 18:30
It is knowledge. While many feel God’s commandments only offend our human freedom and condemn us, they are designed to lead us in the way of goodness and peace.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
We could go on forever about the nature of our lovingly expressive God! However, there is one final point I would like to make. What do all of Lord’s promises, His words of prophecy, warning, encouragement, and comfort center around? The coming of a Savior. The coming of Jesus Christ, who was to suffer on our behalf and open the way to a new heavenly kingdom filled with those who trust His word.
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38
God spoke of salvation to believers in the Old Testament, and then the forgiveness of sins was ultimately promised through the lips of Jesus Christ Himself. As He said He would, Jesus laid down His perfect life for us all, knowing it would reconcile us with our Creator. As He foretold, Jesus overcame death and now sits in heaven as our Advocate and Redeemer.
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Matthew 28:5-6
So when I think of Amariah, I no longer just smile because of its pretty sound. Rather I am reminded that God has spoken so much grace and truth to those who are willing to listen. His Scriptures so beautifully testify to His faithfulness, His trustworthiness, His love, His Son. I look forward to the days I will share this with my daughter, pointing her to the One voice that matters.